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Minas Tirith Forums » New Line Cinema's Hobbit » PJ Banned From The Hobbit ! (Page 5)
Author Topic: PJ Banned From The Hobbit !
Roll of Honor Silmahtar
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Joe: My list of criticisms has very little to do with deviations from the book, and everything to do with Jackson's "low-brow, childish filmmaking style." I would almost, almost, forgive the liberties the Wingnutters took with the book if the films weren't so damn cheesy and amateurish -- as films.

I hold to the opinion that Jackson, while he has proven he can pull off a big-budget film projects, has very little technical skill, storytelling strength, or artistic vision. He basically made a 12-hour film version of World of Warcraft, and I'm happy he won't have the opportunity to do the same with The Hobbit.

And you can't point to his Oscars as proof, either. Any organization that gives the same Oscars to Shakespeare in Love over far more worthy contenders has its collective head up its ass.

Ney: I respect your right to an opinion of the films, if not the opinion itself. []

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LyraLuthien Tinuviel
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Can't you respect an opinion you don't agree with?
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Madomir
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Geez Archer, how 'bout a little consistancy? First you say the sock puppet talk is both 'silly' and 'absurd', which by the way I agree with. But then you follow it up with this even more silly and absurd gem..

quote:
Actually, I may take that back: since this silly subject began, I've gotten a few PMs from WK, who surprisingly strikes me as being a nice person, relatively mature,
Any question of your sockpuppetness has certainly put to rest (at least for me) however, unless your tongue was planted firmly in cheek when you digitized this last thought, I have some serious questions about your character assessment skills. The pic you linked was clearly a joke but this first bit didn't quite read that way to me. []
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Archer
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quote:
I never said you were a sockpuppet, Archer, so please don't lump me in with that one. I was trying to explain why people might get that impression. I also didn't say or imply that your lawsuit was spurious - I merely said that I wasn't surprised to hear that you had been involved in legal proceedings seeing as you appeared to be boasting about being litigious in your previous post. If you didn't mean it to come across as boasting, then I apologise, but that is how it read to me. Reading it again, it still does.
I apologize if I lumped you in with the puppet-makers; that was my definitely my oversight. As for the implications of your post, you may be right, but in the context of bringing up the notion of spurious lawsuits, and following it immediately--no change of subject--by the presumption that I had "a string of lawsuits" myself, as if I was casually collecting them like stamps or something, when you had little evidence for that, certainly seems to suggest you were implying my law suit was excessive and spurious. Sorry if that's not what you were saying, but that is how I read it.

As for boasting, I can see how it would sound that way; but if I was boasting anything, it was determination, especially considering the unusual underdog nature of my lawsuit, and promoting the idea that even finding little support for a case doesn't mean it can't be done, since we were debating what can and can't stand up in court.

Likewise, the incident about ruffling the obnoxious defense attorney was about the same: just pointing out that intimidation means bugger all if you're going ahead with something--though I admit I probably like that incident a little too much, and do allude to it too fondly. I guess you just sort of had to be there to know what I mean, as he was a first class jerk. But whatever, sorry if I sounded arrogant--wasn't where I was intending to go.

And once I said the whole thing, I realized it had nothing to do with spurious cases, so I tossed in the disclaimer, hoping it would clarify it. Looking back, it probably wasn't clear enough.

quote:
Geez Archer, how 'bout a little consistancy? First you say the sock puppet talk is both 'silly' and 'absurd', which by the way I agree with. But then you follow it up with this even more silly and absurd gem..

quote: Actually, I may take that back: since this silly subject began, I've gotten a few PMs from WK, who surprisingly strikes me as being a nice person, relatively mature,

Any question of your sockpuppetness has certainly put to rest (at least for me) however, unless your tongue was planted firmly in cheek when you digitized this last thought, I have some serious questions about your character assessment skills. The pic you linked was clearly a joke but this first bit didn't quite read that way to me. []

I'm referring to WK's messages, not his forum posts, as he does sound like a nice person in them, and just wondered if I was judging him too harshly from his forums posts. Not saying he is a nice person; I don't know him enough to go there--just thinking in general we may not really be what our avatars say on our behalf.

DRP recently commented on the idea that forum personalities may not accurately reflect a person's true character, like in the example he cited where the guy who was known as a major jerk on the internet was surprisingly a very nice guy in real life, so who can really say? Of course that may be an extreme case, but people in general do use the internet to spout off and vent as they will, making use of rude or aggressive behavior they wouldn't normally, as there's little chance of the repercussions they'd suffer for doing the same in the real world.

Anyway, maybe WK is a nice person, maybe not; I don't know anything about him to judge it with certainty, but he could be nice going by his messages. . .Just saying.

As for the pic, you can probably guess that I think the sock puppet idea is pretty funny (at least as much as I think it is annoying). I should probably add a picture of a sock puppet to my profile, if that doesn't make the point.

[ 01-23-2007, 06:35 PM: Message edited by: Archer ]

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Archer
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quote:
He basically made a 12-hour film version of World of Warcraft
A more perfect description I could not think of. Complete with the modern jokes and grating pop references that have no place in Tolkien's far removed world.
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The Witch-King of Angmar
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Not to mention modern pop-attitudes, i.e. of know-it-all contempt for anything classic or chivalrous, such as the portrayal of a doting princess riding out to save the day, and snidely sticking a sword in her noble king's face with a typical deflating remark-- end of story, no further questions. This isn't a great novel come to life, it's a modern self-indulgent take-down of classic romance in open contempt for such. (Or at least it was at certain times-- this film was schizophrenic in the way it kept switching between sap-serious and snot-snide; when at the grim battle of Helm's Deep Gimli said "toss me," my cookies echoed in chorus).

And not to mention Frodo failing to slash the Witch-king, calling on Elbereth and scaring the undead crap out all the Nazgûl so that they didn't dare attack again; instead Frodo becomes a wimpering wuss in need of rescue... by said princess, no less.
This movie would make Mel Brooks say "Oy, vey."

[ 01-23-2007, 09:01 PM: Message edited by: The Witch-King of Angmar ]

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Roll of Honor Athene
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quote:
though I admit I probably like that incident a little too much, and do allude to it too fondly
[] [] The favourite of my deadly sins as well. Would that we were all as able to laugh at ourselves!
[]
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify. []

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Teron
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Ummm.... Why does everyone hate PJ? Seriously, i think he did a good job on all his movies. he may have been an idiot himself, but he can direct movies.
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Artaresto
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People seem to hate PJ because he made his own hollywood-version of a fantastic story [] .
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Roll of Honor Neytari Took-Baggins
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My Take: They are upset because the LotR that made it to the screen is not their version (they would say The Real Version, but I'm a reader response critic, so I don't believe Real Versions exist) of the story.

[ 04-09-2007, 06:23 PM: Message edited by: Neytari Took-Baggins ]

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The Witch-King of Angmar
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quote:
My Take: They are upset because the LotR that made it to the screen is not their version (they would say The Real Version, but I'm a reader response critic, so I don't believe Real Versions exist) of the story.

No, by definition that makes you a "nihilist," i.e. "nothing matters since it doesn't exist."
The story definitely had a "real version" in term of the spirit, tone and intent of the author, which were faithlessly ignored in favor of bad jokes and cheap sensationalism. Therefore, we are upset because it wasn't Tolkien's version.

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Roll of Honor Neytari Took-Baggins
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That makes me nothing of the sort [] I don't think that "nothing matters." I have several problems with the films, ranging from the small (how a line is delivered) to the big (Frodo leaving Sam is dumb for several reasons beyond the fact that it just doesn't happen in the book). However, for me and my personal tastes, the good things in the film (the interpretations of the book that match my vision exactly as well as the added things which I think either enhance the book or simply make it work better as a film) outweigh the bad (my nitpicks and reservations) by far.

I think it would be more accurate to say that it is your personal vision of Tolkien's version. We can't read Tolkien's mind and have no way of knowing what his vision was. True, we can read his letters and other writings and make guesses as to how he would like the films interpreted for the screen, but let's not pretend that we're mind-readers.

As for "Film it exactly as it is written!", for one thing, that isn't possible for reasons beyond mere length. I don't think you'll find many people who actually want to see movies made completly litterally from the book. And for another, not even Tolkien wanted that. He was for cutting Helm's Deep, for example.

But even if we could know exactly what Tolkien wanted, he doesn't get to decide whether the movie is good or not. Even he can only decide whether he personally likes it or not, not whether or not it is a quality film. Weighing the things that are like the book against the things that are not like the book does not measure the value of the film.

How I Measure The Value Of A Film:
Do you enjoy it?
Do you notice glaring mistakes such as crew or equiptment in a shot?
Is the film consistant within itself?
Do you think the film says important things?
Do you think the film is beautiful to watch?
Are there any performance in the film which make you wince a lot?
Do you like the score?
Do you feel like any lines are clunky?
Did you notice any abuses of the English language?
Do you feel like any scenes or sequences just serve to make the film longer?
Do you like the pacing?

ect ect. I could probably write an even longer list, but Dancing with the Stars is gonna be on [] The point is, in the end whether or not you think a film is good will come down to the technical things (such as hideous grammar or equiptment visible. Things that either are there or not), but mostly it will come down to whether you liked it or not.

[ 04-09-2007, 09:42 PM: Message edited by: Neytari Took-Baggins ]

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The Dread Pirate Roberts
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quote:
I don't think you'll find many people who actually want to see movies made completly litterally from the book. . .

Weighing the things that are like the book against the things that are not like the book does not measure the value of the film.

You've defeated the Straw Man yet again. Congratulations.

As for reading Tolkien's mind, that isn't necessary since he put much of his mind into the printed word. You say Tolkien, "doesn't get to decide whether the movie is good or not. Even he can only decide whether he personally likes it or not, not whether or not it is a quality film." I disagree; he can decide much more than that.

He can decide whether the film is faithful to his vision, whether it accurately depicts what he wrote about, and whether he personally likes it. To many purists the two former are paramount. To a reader-response critic they are barely relevant, if at all.

And that is the major difference between purists and movie-philes here at Minas Tirith. There is no denying that the movies didn't even try to stay faithful to Tolkien; Jackson says it himself on the DVD. To you, Neyt, that doesn't really matter very much; the things you listed are more important. To me, it's a heretical desecration of the story.

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The Witch-King of Angmar
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quote:
As for reading Tolkien's mind, that isn't necessary since he put much of his mind into the printed word.
And that's not the most of it, but rather information regarding the man himself: his life, his experiences, his beliefs, his inspirations, his espoused readings and values etc. These all do more to mark and define the context of his work as well-- and show, along with the low-level crudeness rife in PJ's prior works, that JRRT is simply far beyond PJ's comprehension to allow for the proper faith and reverence to the source-material-- and he didn't have a clue about the "spirit" of the story, since he's wholly illiterate as to the background themes and spiritual genrés (most notably Catholicism) that Tolkien's works embodied and personfied.

PJ didn't have a clue what he was dealing with-- and it shows.

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Archer
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quote:
My Take: They are upset because the LotR that made it to the screen is not their version
This is a greatly mistaken notion and one I hear quoted all the time. I'm still not sure why the film-philes like using this one so much.

If you want to hear the truth once more, personal vision has nothing to do with it. I don't even think one can validly have a personal vision of Tolkien's LoTR unless he/she wants to purposely ignore the high level of detail and complexity, mood, tone, and "vision" already in the books. Tolkien didn’t "niggle" away for seventeen years to just present a generic blue screen that anyone can use to place against it whatever random pretty picture comes to mind. He wrote and rewrote, and pared down just about every element in the story into minute and exquisite detail. He's been criticized by some as being "too detailed," but all those pages and paragraphs of extra text aren't there just to meet some quota. They are there to very carefully illustrate--his vision!--all the subtle layering of characterization, atmosphere and color.

Not to mention, so much of Tolkien's vision is evident in the man himself. If you have a notion of who he was, and what he upheld, (easily done by researching his life, reading his letters, listening to what his children and others who knew him most had to say about him), it's easy enough to get a gist of what his general vision was, and how that vision permeates to all his texts. As I can see, there's almost no way you can come away from that without having a strong feel for what he wanted to illustrate in his myths, and how.

As for my vision, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans, because there are elements of Tolkien's writing that always make me cringe a bit, an example being that removed, picture-perfect idealization of all the women in his story, while at the same time, many of the males can be layered, flawed, "ugly" even, and still have merit. Nonetheless it works beautifully in the mythic context in this story, and I can clearly see changing it would just make a discombobulated mess (can we say "Arwen"?) of everything, since this kind of idealization is a feature of the mythic, and the mythic tone is integral to the story's purpose. Never mind my vision! This is Tolkien's story and he worked all his life to create it. I think his vision takes precedence.

Finally, there's the equally mistaken idea that all purists want the book filmed exactly as it was written. Not at all! Some of my favorite adapted books have been greatly changed in their film forms--then again, some haven't. It has much less to do with the amount of change than it does with the kind of change. PJ claimed to be faithful to the "spirit," but I actually feel PJ was far more faithful to the basic structure and plot of LotR than he was to the spirit. In fact he changed the spirit of it entirely. He gave it a different tone and purpose, so that it went from an elevated myth, deeply steeped in the spiritual, to a common, videogame action-adventure. Some of us are just a tad let down over that, you might say.

I probably wouldn't even mind so much if there were at least a film version out there that did the myth justice, with the professor's true intent, so that most people would have the right idea of what he worked so many years of his life to convey exactly right! As it is, many believe PJ's films are one and the same with Tolkien's story--even having read the books, they still do, as they let the films loud and raucous impressions slowly fill in and replace the more subtle, layered text in their minds, like sediments eventually fossilizing bones, so that at the end of it, so many walk about with this impression that sort of looks like what it once was, but is really quite lifeless and empty. More people than not have the wrong impression of this story, and that's my biggest problem with it. I feel Tolkien worked too long and hard, and this story is just too sublime for that.

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The Witch-King of Angmar
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Again, I think this notion goes to the nihilistic context of "spirit" taking on some Kantian "noumenal" dimension which is held as being beyond description, and therefore "anything goes." In actuality however, the spirit of the story-- or "core," as Tolkien put it, is quite well-defined in the Catholic doctrine-- as well as Tolkien's usage thereof-- however dismissed this may be by those "agnosticians" who simply fail to hold a clue about it, and so group it with dimestore moralism that misses the boat entirely on Tolkien's actual work.

Indeed, this places ignorance as the movie-phile's defense-- however ignorance, as we all know, is never an excuse... merely the plea of the defensively ignorant-- as is the notion that we purists define faith to the spirit (as well as dignity and complexity) of the story only via some verbatim presentation.

quote:
for my vision, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans, because there are elements of Tolkien's writing that always make me cringe a bit, an example being that removed, picture-perfect idealization of all the women in his story
Which women? Galadriel? She was indeed flawed, coveting the Ring to the point that she was blinded by her own lust for it, from seeing Boromir's same desire- until it passed from her grasp, and thus it was too late to help him.

Éowyn? She was tragically flawed, harboring blood-lust and a death-wish out of desperation and corruption, to the point of betraying her duty in order to indulge them.

Arwen? througout her life she likewise bore a self-righteous contempt, which she only saw at the end when the tables were turned:

quote:
But I say to you, King of the Númenoreans, not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive."
I don't think they were any less "flawed" than the male characters.

[ 04-11-2007, 03:03 PM: Message edited by: The Witch-King of Angmar ]

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Archer
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Guess I should clarify:

Arwen and Galadriel may be a bit flawed or layered in character, but certainly nothing to the level that some of the male characters are, like Boromir, or Aragorn, or even Legolas and Gimli, who start out in the fellowship bickering like school children at every turn. Éowyn is indeed flawed in character, and has always been one of my favorites because she is so interesting, specifically in that manner.

But I'm talking about Tolkien's very typical need to make every main female character who has any real merit physically perfect. While he may tell us that Boromir or Legolas or even Frodo is "fair" to either a small or great measure, most of the other male characterizations in the texts don't require physical beauty to complete their value or their merit, as Galadriel, Arwen, and Éowyn most definitely do. Tolkien goes on a great deal about their beauty and their grace, and we can imagine he thinks this is a very important facet of their virtue. We can probably say the same about Goldberry, though Tom himself is hardly pin-up material.

This is just a very trite, superficial habit of many authors, and Tolkien doesn't seem to be able to escape it either, unfortunately. The fact is most female characters in fiction, especially in main stream fantasy fiction (which is just an off shoot of Tolkien) usually have to acquire most of their merit from their appearance--pretty dumb if you ask me. I'd like to see some "plain" virtuous female heroines who can be regarded for their actual character and personal qualities (heroically flawed or otherwise) rather than for their "peerless beauty," because being dependent on such makes them less dimensional that way.

However, like I said, in the mythic context of this story, it works actually very well, and because LotR has the tone that it does, changing it to try to give some other "virtue" to the characters, e.g., Arwen's sword-toting jockey-for-the-win is just lame (not to mention funny to anyone who really knows how to hold a sword [] ). So this is a case where I think Tolkien can get away with this clichéd practice, and interestingly, he manages it beautifully.

Nonetheless, it does make me cringe every now and then to read it, and I can't help but secretly wish for a female character in the story who could somehow get away with "looking foul and feeling fair."

[ 04-12-2007, 04:49 PM: Message edited by: Archer ]

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Roll of Honor Athene
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quote:
The fact is most female characters in fiction, especially in main stream fantasy fiction ... usually have to acquire most of their merit from their appearance
Agreed, and even writers who start out with good intentions in this area quickly settle into the expected routine.

Raymond Feist/Jenny Wurts - Mara of the Acoma starts off specifically described as plain, but halfway through book II she suddently becomes a "stunning beauty". []

Anne McCaffrey: Lessa is described by F'lar as "almost pretty" after she has her first bath. Second book - all the women on Pern are jealous of her looks. Huh? []

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The Dread Pirate Roberts
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There is always Ioreth. []
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LyraLuthien Tinuviel
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Wasn't F'lar's comment about Lessa cleaning up "almost pretty" spoken tongue-in-cheek?
Isn't the full quote "almost pretty enough to placate F'nor?"
And don't you think that impressing the Queen would give her enough of a boost to elevate her from pretty to stunning?

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
Don't say we have come now to the end; White shores are calling.
You and I will meet again.
Across the sea a pale moon rising; the ships have come to carry you home.
And all will turn to silver glass; A light on the water
Grey Ships pass into the West.

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Roll of Honor Athene
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quote:
And don't you think that impressing the Queen would give her enough of a boost to elevate her from pretty to stunning?

Does Impressing have that effect? It doesn't seem to have done on any of the other Weyrwomen; I don't recall it being mentioned anywhere.
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LyraLuthien Tinuviel
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I dunno; I just had the thought that it would make her glow, somehow, like pregnant women are supposed to.

No textual support for it, really, just my own silly notion.

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Archer
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quote:
There is always Ioreth.
I know you were being facetious Roberts, but it got me thinking down a convolute road of virtue in "fair and foul" female characters in literature.

In all truth Ioreth has always suggested the "gossiping hag" archetype in literature, much like Chaucer's Wife of Bath, wise in her own way, with her own unique virtues, but at the heart of it, something of an absurd, tongue-waggling figure to poke fun of. In fact I'd say Chaucer's dame Alys comes across as much more wise and interesting than Ioreth, despite her comical attributes.

However, dame Alys does tell the archetypal "loathly lady" story, in which a knight is bound by honor to marry a loathly old woman (with whom dame Alys actually shares quite a few subtle attributes) who lectures her depressed husband on their wedding knight on the pointless frivolities of having a young and beautiful wife--such as the notion that as a "hottie," she's likely to be selfish and faithless, while a less attractive wife would be more predisposed to being good and faithful to him.

She makes some hard hitting points and then tells him plainly if he insists on having one more than the other, he can--with the understanding that he must take the bad with the good, and she will become just what he prefers. She manages to make quite an impression on the superficial knight, who then tells her that in her wisdom, she herself should make the choice which she'll be, and her decision will be good enough for him.

When he does this, suddenly granting her the mastery of choice for her own fate, (rather than what he might more foolishly choose) she becomes both faithful and fair for him. The clincher is that he made the right choice in allowing her the say to be either "fair or foul" and still be accepted and loved by him.

Okay, I know it's a stretch, but I'm trying to find something to connect to Tolkien that manages to think outside the typical, male-brain box. []

[ 04-13-2007, 03:43 PM: Message edited by: Archer ]

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The Witch-King of Angmar
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This is simply the classical genré which typically put women of high birth on a pedestal instead of patronizing them, and which celebrated the instituation of female beauty in particular as an inspirational ideal.

In keeping, the male characters depended on their prowess and leadership in battle.

In contrast, it's the insecure PC-feminist position which seek to compete with men, while at the same time secretly sneaking in bids for compliments on their beauty as a special virtue in typical double-standard fashion which doth protest too much.

quote:
Arwen's sword-toting jockey-for-the-win is just lame (not to mention funny to anyone who really knows how to hold a sword
I also found it humorous to see her thumb extended along the hilt-- particularly after all the talk of her "lessons" taken off-stage; just more hype it seems.
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Archer
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quote:
Agreed, and even writers who start out with good intentions in this area quickly settle into the expected routine.
From what I've seen, I agree. In most of the popular fantasy I have read (*hasn't read that much popular fantasy [] *) it's always the case that the females must be beautiful and ideal, otherwise, one gets the notion they'd have less value.

Interestingly, I just finished volume one of the English translation of the popular and acclaimed Japanese fantasy/myth, The Twelve Kingdoms by Fuyumi Ono, which has often been compared in depth and scope to The Lord of the Rings. [] The main character in that arc, Nakajima Yoko, is never once described as being beautiful--that alone amazed and impressed me--but she's not even particularly virtuous at the beginning of the story. Instead, she gains strength, maturity, and wisdom as the story progresses.

There are however, seven volumes in the story (and it is yet unfinished!), which I unfortunately can't read as they haven't been translated into English yet. But like you suggested in your examples, I've been a bit worried that Yoko might somehow go astray and become "drop-dead gorgeous" by the end of it, and it would definitely make her less unique, as she seems to be a compelling enough character exactly as she is, proving that female idealization is not a necessity in good, fantasy story-telling.
quote:
This is simply the classical genré which typically put women of high birth on a pedestal instead of patronizing them, and which celebrated the instituation of female beauty in particular as an inspirational ideal.

In keeping, the male characters depended on their prowess and leadership in battle.

That is what I did say, isn't it? []

However, it's neither particularly advantageous to female characterization, nor is it particularly original--plain and simple.

It's not advantageous since it grants virtue mainly for something that has nothing whatsoever to do with virtue, and it suggests that without physical beauty, i.e., genetics, which are a fairly random thing from person to person, there is no real virtue. [] Conversely, men in Tolkien's world are upheld for their actual deeds and character--things they have control over.

The fact is Tolkien manages to do some very cool and original things with his male characters--they don't have to be heroic in stature or beauty, classically or otherwise, to be "heroic." However, his females do, so whatever argument you want to make about a classical ideal, the simple truth is Tolkien holds a double standard for men and women in his world. Nevertheless, as I've said, if anyone can pull it off well, he can--and does.
quote:

In contrast, it's the insecure PC-feminist position which seek to compete with men, while at the same time secretly sneaking in bids for compliments on their beauty as a special virtue in typical double-standard fashion which doth protest too much.

Now that statement was completely unnecessary, and just as much untrue, if by "insecure PC-feminists" you mean those who feel trite female characterizations aren't necessary because they would rather "compete" with men--as if they need some kind of permission or something! I'm guessing you do mean this, correct me if I'm wrong, since you prefaced the statement with "in contrast" to pedestal idealization (?), which is the thing I claimed I'm seldom impressed by.

I dunno. I really see that remark right up there alongside this earlier one: "They are upset because the LotR that made it to the screen is not their version." I think these kinds of petty claims are made by people who can't stand that someone doesn't like or adhere to something they themselves truly uphold, so they turn around and spout fairly unfounded, oft-repeated claims belittling the opinion of those against their view, to make themselves feel better about it. But really there is no proof of any of it. It's just tossed around from one "upholder" to another, and eventually used like it's valid documentation.
quote:

quote: Arwen's sword-toting jockey-for-the-win is just lame (not to mention funny to anyone who really knows how to hold a sword

I also found it humorous to see her thumb extended along the hilt-- particularly after all the talk of her "lessons" taken off-stage; just more hype it seems.

A good way to get the sword knocked right out of your hand, and probably get a fracture to boot. And not only that, but its the sissy-ish way she holds it up beside her, like she's holding up a compact to powder her nose or something; there is no way in the world there would be any force behind that swing. If I was the Nazgûl, I would just be embarrassed for her.

[ 04-23-2007, 01:06 AM: Message edited by: Archer ]

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